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Why I’m growing a second brain

The unsettling story of a (literal) thought experiment

By Philip Ball   April 2018

Scientists are turning a sample from my arm in to a second brain. Photo: Prospect

We’re used to thinking of ourselves as a finished product. The finish might not always be quite what we’d like, but it’s what we’re stuck with. From a single fertilised egg, we unfold in a progressive elaboration of cells and tissues until we come mewling and puking into the world. From there it’s a linear story that ends sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

But Shakespeare’s age-old narrative of decay, decrepitude…

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